Holding the Line: #LoveYourBacklog Month 2023

There I was, deliberating on what to write about this week whilst I finally make my way through Horizon Forbidden West. Then suddenly, like the cavalry coming over the hill Helm’s Deep-style, came Later Levels with the return of the #LoveYourBacklog tag for 2023!

Later Levels puts #LoveYourBacklog together to get the blogging community sharing the details of their gaming backlogs – be sure to go over to their original post for more info! They even make bespoke graphics for us to share on our sites (see below, or on my sidebar), displaying the number of games we still plan to get through. The badges cater to backlogs going as far as 2000+ games, but for me the 100-or-less badge covers it. I’d say my backlog spans roughly 40 games across all platforms, which are games I either own or actively have on my to-play list. Still, in the grand scheme of things, 100- isn’t too bad… Until you realise lots of these games are 50-100 hour experiences (gulp).

I already took part in #LoveYourBacklog once, back in 2021. The format remains largely similar; firstly, in this post I’ll answer six questions from Later Levels about my backlog, giving you a little bit of insight into the overwhelming tower of games I optimistically hope to get to one day.

Then, at the end of the post, I’ll nominate a game for #MaybeInMarch. This’ll be a game I commit to finishing next month and then writing a post on. In 2021, the game I chose for this was the reboot of God of War, and it was highly successful in motivating me to finally tick that off my list!

Before we get to the questions, I thought I’d include a few photos of my physical game backlog. Included here are the games I am still to finish on Switch, 3DS/DS, and PlayStation. This doesn’t even include digital purchases, or my older collections I don’t have to hand like Wii, GameCube, or Game Boy. Technically, you can add the whole of Xbox Game Pass to this too…

Lots of remakes here I couldn’t resist buying, even though I’d played the originals
I’ve been picking up classic PS1/PS2 games as of late
Not having finished Majora’s Mask yet is something I really need to fix

The Questions!

A game you’re eager to play, but haven’t yet started

Until recently, my answer to this would have been Horizon Forbidden West, which I was incredibly excited for. However, I put too much pressure on myself to start and enjoy it. However, now that I’ve finally started Forbidden West, my answer to this question is instead the story-led game Life is Strange: True Colors – and for very similar reasons. As a huge fan of the Life is Strange series (especially the original and the prequel Before the Storm), I was really looking forward to True Colors after the announcement back in 2021. Yet, the release came, my copy arrived, but it just stayed on my shelf for the past year and a half whilst I’ve distracted myself elsewhere.

Like with Forbidden West, my investment into the Life is Strange series made the new entry become something I felt I *had* to play just as much as I genuinely wanted to. As with Forbidden West, I know I need to make the jump and start the game, because I’m confident that I’ll have a brilliant time. The new main character Alex Chen and her emotion-reading powers open up plenty of fascinating gameplay and narrative potential, whilst there’re also plenty of nods to the wider Life is Strange universe, particularly with the inclusion of Steph, the fan-favourite side character from the original game.

A game you’ve started several times but haven’t yet finished

I rarely start games over multiple times; what I tend to do instead is take extended breaks from certain games that don’t completely grip me. Then when I return, I reacclimatise myself to the game, which does take a little bit of time – but I generally prefer to do that instead of starting over from the beginning. Now, it hurts to admit this, but one of my most egregious cases of this is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The Legend of Zelda is my favourite game franchise, and like so many others, I adored Breath of the Wild. When a second Hyrule Warriors was announced that was set before Breath of the Wild and would give us plenty of new canon story details, it was a very welcome surprise. My immediate reaction was excitement at all the new lore with which to speculate about the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel, now named Tears of the Kingdom.

The problem I face whenever I go back to Age of Calamity is that I don’t click with the gameplay. If you’re unaware, the Hyrule Warriors games are developed by Koei Tecmo, who are known for the Musou fighting games such as their signature Dynasty Warriors franchise. This style of over-exaggerated 1-vs-100 combat is the basis for Hyrule Warriors, and whilst it can be visually dynamic, it’s often clunky when you’re not in a combo. It’s markedly different from the precise nature of the mainline Zelda games, and definitely an acquired taste; for me, it makes Age of Calamity repetitive in between the lovingly-animated cutscenes. I do keep going back though, because I’d like to push through and see the entire story before Tears of the Kingdom releases this year.

The oldest game in terms of release date

We’re going back to 1996 for this one! I’ve been collecting older Resident Evil games recently (see the images below), and that’s included the original PS1 version of Resident Evil from my local CeX trade-in store. During my 2020 lockdown catch-up of the Resident Evil series, I did play the REmake version of the first Resident Evil, but I’ve never played the original. I’m excited to play through a blocky polygon mansion as a blocky polygon Jill Valentine, so I’d count this as being on my backlog and therefore being the oldest in terms of release date.

Comparing it to my experience with the REmake should be intriguing. At least I have the advantage of playing that game, so I have a vague idea of where I should be going! Plus, I love reading the manual included with the PS1 game, with the little mission briefing and S.T.A.R.S. character bios. I miss these sorts of details nowadays, where game manuals are few and far between outside of specialist releases. I’ve included some images of these pages in the gallery below!

The most recent addition to your library

In keeping with the topic of buying older games, another gem I recently found was a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on the GameCube! Twilight Princess is my favourite game of all time, and I’d been looking for a GameCube copy of it for many years. Now that I’ve finally found one, I very much intend to play it again – so I suppose it counts for this answer right?

It cost me £85, but considering the great condition of the box, manual, and inserts, that’s a great price as far as I’m concerned. Also look at that adorable little GameCube disc!

The game which has spent the most time on your backlog

This answer remains the same as when I answered this question back in 2021, which shows how bad I can be at getting through my backlog! Namely, it’s Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, which released in the EU on February 6th 2009 (which as of tomorrow, is 14 years ago to the day *shudder*).

I do go back to this game now and then, because it’s a genuinely superb Metroidvania with beautiful art and creative combat abilities. However, it’s also quite difficult, which has often been my stumbling block. I can definitely see myself getting around to finally finishing this one day.

The person responsible for you adding the most entries to your backlog, due to their good recommendations

My answer to this again calls back to my 2021 answers, as my Let’s Chat collaborator Ashley Harrison is still my answer. Moreso than anyone else, they’re the one for bringing fantastic RPGs such as Octopath Traveler to my attention. It also helps that we both have similar taste in studios and genre. For example, we’ll often talk about a new Naughty Dog or Image & Form release.

Of course, a shoutout to all the blogs I follow, because you’re always bringing new releases to my attention. Speaking of Image & Form, I would have completely missed the announcement of the demo for their new game SteamWorld Build if Frostilyte hadn’t written about it on their site!


So then, which game am I going to target completing for #MaybeInMarch? Well, to call back to my answer to the first question, I’m picking Life is Strange: True Colors. First, I’m going to finish Horizon Forbidden West, but then March will be the month to delve into the emotional drama of Life is Strange once again. I was honestly shocked when I realised it had been nearly two years since True Colors released, so I really need to fix this gap in my knowledge!

Don’t judge me Alex, I’ll play True Colors next month. Honest!

Right then, that’s all for now, as I need to get back to playing all these games! I hope you enjoyed this journey through my backlog; I really like doing these posts, as it actively motivates me to tackle games I’ve put off playing. If you have any thoughts about my backlog – or even better, your own! – then leave a comment, as I’d love to discuss further!

Before I go, I’d just like to again say thank you to Later Levels for setting this up. Make sure you go over to their site, as there’s plenty of insightful posts to read over there.

Have an amazing day!

9 thoughts on “Holding the Line: #LoveYourBacklog Month 2023

  1. Oh wow, look at those Resident Evil games! :O

    Thanks so much for taking part again. I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of True Colors; I’ve only played the first Life is Strange and keep saying I should really try one of the others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As ever, I collect games faster than I can play through them! At least they look cool on the shelf until then 🙂

      And no worries, we should be thanking you! It’ll be intriguing to see if True Colors matches up to the original and Before the Storm, because I hold those in very high estimation. Maybe the different vibe would better suit you too, as I know you weren’t too keen on the originals. Time will tell!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So far I’m predictably having a fab time with Forbidden West, and it looks gorgeous in HDR. I’m on PS4, so I can only imagine how good it looks on PS5!

      I’ve never played Dead Space, but I know the first two are meant to be superb, so I hope the new remake meets expectations for you. I hadn’t heard of Deliver Us Mars, but it looks fascinating. I’m always up for some space exploration!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh year, Forbidden West looks stunning on PS5. It’s a fantastic game and a wonderful storyline, enjoy. You can just get lost in that game, so much fun. Also revisit areas again after you’ve done some missions and you can catch up with the characters and what’s been happing afterwards. Dead Space is a classic survival horror game, it’s a bit full on, so not everyone’s cup of tea, but I really like it. Deliver Us Mars is really good as well, quite relaxing actually after playing Dead Space LOL 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m only in the first areas and I’m already having such a great time with exploration and side quests. Also there’re some quality-of-life changes that I really appreciate, like items going to storage if you have a full inventory.

        I think after the likes of Resident Evil I should be able to take Dead Space, so it’s definitely one I’d like to get to!

        Liked by 1 person

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